Marching to Glory
"EDWARD McKINLEY'S book moves readers beyond a rudimentary understanding of the Salvation Army as the top philanthropic organization in the U.S. Rooted in the holiness tradition, it is an evangelical denomination whose central mission is to win converts for Christianity....
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"EDWARD McKINLEY'S book moves readers beyond a rudimentary understanding of the Salvation Army as the top philanthropic organization in the U.S. Rooted in the holiness tradition, it is an evangelical denomination whose central mission is to win converts for Christianity. The distinctiveness of this church is twofold. First, the Salvation Army expresses itself through militaristic images, war phraseology and an organization based on military ranks. The military model expresses the Army's belief that Christians are engaged in spiritual warfare against evil. Second, Salvationists carry out their ministry of conversion and sanctification among a specific group: the poorest and most troubled people in society. A professor of history at Asbury College and an active soldier in the Salvation Army, McKinley wrote the first edition of this work in commemoration of the Army's centennial celebration. With this second edition the author makes a significant contribution to the scholarship of American evangelicalism. McKinley's well-researched work weaves the Army's particular history with the broader issues facing Protestant denominations in the late 19th and 20th centuries. While much of the book reads like a denominational history, McKinley recounts interesting stories, provides detailed personality sketches of the early leaders, and explains the Army's internal political intrigue. The book contains seven chapters that progress chronologically through the Army's history. In the last chapter, new to this edition, McKinley analyzes the Army's present situation and what it needs to do in order to chart a viable future. Three appendices list the Army's doctrines, ranks and national commanders. Nearly 40 black-and-white photographs are interspersed throughout the work. Like other evangelical groups, the Salvation Army espouses conservative theology. But unlike most conservatives, the Army has always accepted women in leadership roles and has never seen a contradiction between soul-winning and social ministry. Like most denominations, the Army's growth comes largely from within as children of Army families themselves become soldiers and officers. But while most denominations depend on their members for financial support, charitable giving is the Army's primary source of income. Finally, the Army shares a common challenge with all American denominations: struggling to stay true to its origins and its historic mission in the face of social and technological change." -Review in Christian Century